A little after 5 this morning, the sound of the unexpected rain brought me out of my dream state. I was not ready to rise, so I realigned myself into a good savasana and just listened — following no other thoughts — until the morning musical awakening arrived at 6.
I could have thought of it in this language: the rain woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep, but I was still tired so I lay in bed until the alarm went off.
Hotels, I think, were on to something when they started offering “wake up calls,” though the sound of the phone ringing in the middle of an intense dream can be shocking. When did we start naming the sound we use to bring us from dreaming to waking “the alarm?” What perspective does it give to our day to think we need an alarm to start it? Why not at least “alert” or “signal” for the days when the only technology (think about that piece of it) was a jarring sound?
I have been thinking a lot about what wakes me up since Becky passed away. For 21 years, either Henrietta or Becky was lying on or next to me purring before any electronic signal could go off. They knew when it would go off and every morning sought a little petting (and then food) before they heard any signal to start the day. They incorporated it into their rhythm and created a good waking routine around my schedule.
Some of my waking with the cats instead of the electronic sounds must have been me ready to be shifted from sleeping to waking by the cats’ attention, because I am still waking 10-20 minutes before Bose technology utters an automatic sound (usually yoga chants) to make sure I get off to work. I also know from conscious attention to the effects on my sleep from when and what I eat and what I put into my day and until how late, that when I am keeping my eating, practicing, and sleeping schedule steady, I have no need to be called awake by something outside myself to start the day.